網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

In the days of knights, squires, and Greek fire, of which the Moors still made varlets, the armed force of Germany, { use. In fine, you are the depositary of France, Italy, England, and Spain, con- { an art, which not only imitates the thunsisted almost entirely of horsemen, who, der, but is also much more terrible." as well as their horses, were covered with There is, however, nothing but truth in steel. The infantry performed the func- this speech. Two monks have, in reality, tions rather of pioneers than of soldiers. } changed the face of the earth. But the English had always good archers Before cannon were known, the northern among their foot, which contributed, in a nations had subjugated nearly the whole great measure, to their gaining almost { hemisphere, and could come again, like every battle.

famishing wolves, to seize upon the lands Who would believe that armies, now- as their ancestors had done. a-days do but make experiments in natu- In all armies, the victory, and conse ral philosophy?, A soldier would be quently the fate of kingdoms, was do much astonished, if some learned man cided by bodily strength and agilitya were to say to him,

sort of sanguinary fury — a desperate *My friend, you are a better machinist struggle, man to man. Intrepid men than Archimedes. Five parts of saltpetre, { took towns by scaling their walls. There one of sulphur, and one of carbo ligneus, was hardly more discipline in the armies have been separately prepared. Your of the North, during the decline of the saltpetre dissolved, well filtered, well eva- Roman Empire, than among carnivorous porated, well crystallized, well turned, well beasts rushing on their prey. dried, has been incorporated with the Now, a single frontier fortress would yellow purified sulphur. These two in- suffice to stop the armies of Genghis or gredienis, mixed with powdered charcoal, { Attila. have, by means of a little vinegar, or so- It is not long since a victorious army lution of sal-ammoniac, or urine, formed of Russians were unavailably consumed large balls, which balls have been re- before Custrin, which is nothing more duced in pulverem pyrium by a mill. } than a little fortress in a marsh. The effect of this mixture is a dilatation, In battle, men the weakest in body which is nearly as four thousand to unity; may, with well-directed artillery, prevail and the lead in your barrel exhibits ano-against the stoutest. At the battle of ther effect, which is the product of ils } Fontenoi, a few cannon were sufficient to bulk multiplied by its velocity,

compel the retreat of the whole English “ The first who discovered a part of column, though it had been master of the this mathematical secret, was a Benedic-field. tine named Roger Bacon. He who per- The combatants no longer close. The fected the invention, was another Bene- soldier has no longer that ardour—than dictine, in Germany, in the fourteenth } impetuosity, which is redoubled in the century, named Schwartz. So that you heat of action, when the fight is hand to owe to two monks the art of being an ex- hand. Strength, skill, and even the cellent murderer, when you aim well, and temper of the weapons, are useless. A your powder is good.

charge with the bayonet is made scarcely Du Cange has in vain pretended once in the course of a war, though the that, in 1338, the registers of the Chambre bayonet is the most terrible of weapons. des Comptes, at Paris, mention a bill paid In a plain, frequently surrounded by for gunpowder. Do not believe it. It redoubts furnished with heavy artillery, is artillery which is there spoken of-a štwo armies advance in silence, each diviname attached to ancient as well as tosion taking with it flying artillery, The modern warlike machines.

first lines fire at one another and after one “Gunpowder entirely superseded the another: they are victims presented in

field;

make peace.

turn to the bullets. Squadrons at the wings are often exposed to a cannonading

AROT AND MAROT. while waiting for the general's orders. { with A SHORT REVIEW OF THE KOBAX. They who first tire of this manoeuvre, which gives no scope for the display of This article may serve to show how impetuous courage, disperse and quit the much the most learned men may be de

and are rallied, if possible, a few į ceived, and to develope some useful miles off. The victorious enemies be-truths. In the Dictionnaire Encyclopé siege a town, which sometimes costs dique, there is the following passage con them more men, money, and time, than cerning Arot and Marot :they would have lost by several battles. “ These are the names of two angels, The progress made is rarely rapid ; and who the imposter Mahomet said had at the end of five or six years, both sides, been sent from God to teach man, and to being equally exhausted, are obliged to order him to abstain from murder, false

judgments, and excesses of every kind. Thus, at all events, the invention of ar- This false prophet adds, that a very beau. tillery and the new mode of warfare have tiful woman having invited these two anestablished among the respective powers gels to her table, she made them drink an equality which secures mankind from { wine, with which being heated, they solidevastations like those of former times, cited her as lovers ; that she feigned to and thereby renders war less fatal in its } yield to their passion, provided they consequences, though it is still prodi- would first teach her the words by pro giously so.

nouncing which they said it was easy to The Greeks in all ages, the Romans in ascend to heaven ; that having obtained the time of Sylla, and the other nations from them what she asked, she would not of the West and South, had no standing keep her promise ; and that she was then army; every citizen was a soldier, and taken up into heaven, where, having re enrolled himself in time of war. It is, } lated to God what had passed, she was at this day, precisely the same in Swit- { changed into the morning star called Luzerland. Go through the whole country, cifer or Aurora, and the angels were se and you will not find a battalion, except verely punished. Thence it was, accord. at the time of the reviews, If it goes to { ing to Mahomet, that God took occasion war, you all at once see eighty thousand to forbid wine to men."

It would be in vain to seek in the KoThose who usurped the supreme power ran for a single word of this absurd story after Sylla, always had a permanent force, } and pretended reason for Mahomet's for paid with the money of the citizens, to bidding to his followers the use of wine. keep the citizens in subjection, much more { He forbids it only in the second and than to subjugate other nations. The fifth chapters. Bishop of Rome himself keeps a small “They will question thee about wine army in his pay. Who, in the time of and strong liquors: thou shalt answer, the apostles, would have said that the that it is a great sin." servant of the servants of God should have “ The just, who believe and do good regiments, and have them in Rome ? works, must not be reproached with hav

Nothing is so much feared in England { ing drunk wine and played at games of as a great standing army.

chance, before games of chance were for. The Janissaries have raised the Sultans bidden." to greatness, but they have also strangled It is averred by all the Mahometans, them. The Sultans would have avoided that their prophet forbade wine and liquors the rope, if instead of these large bodies of solely to preserve their health and prevent troops, they had established sinuli ones. į quarrels, in the burning climate of Arabia.

men in arms.

wah.

The use of any fermented liquor soon} tribes, and nothing was inserted the in affects the head, and may destroy both collection that did not appear authentic. health and reason.

Besides, the chapter concerning the The fable of Arot and Marot descend- } journey to heaven, not only is not in the ing from heaven, and wanting to lie with Koran, but is in a very different style, and an Arab woman, after drinking wine with is at least four times as long as any of the her, is not in any Mahometan author. It received chapters. Compare all the other is to be found only among the impostures chapters of the Koran with this, and you which various Christian writers, more in- will find a prodigious difference. It bediscreet than enlightened, have printed } gins thus:-against the Mussulman religion, through “ One night, I fell asleep between the a zeal which is not according to know- < two hills of Safah and Merwah. That ledge. The names of Arot and Marot are night was very dark; but so still, that the in no part of the Koran. It is one Syl- dogs were not heard to bark, nor the cocks burgius who says, in an old book which to crow. All at once, the angel Gabriel nobody reads, that he anathematises the appeared before me in the form in which angels' Arot, Marot, Safah, and Mer- { the Most High God created him. His

skin was white as snow. His fair hair, Observe, kind reader, that Safah and admirably disposed, fell in ringlets over Merwah are two little hills near Mecca;{ his shoulders; his forehead was clear, so that our learned Sylburgius has taken majestic, and serene, his teeth beautiful two hills for two angels. Thus it was with and shining, and his legs of a saffron hue; every writer on Mahometanism amongst } his garments were glittering with pearls, us, almost without exception, until the in- and with thread of pure gold. On his telligent Reland gave us clear ideas of the forehead was a plate of gold, on which Mussulman belief, and the learned Sale, were written two lines, brilliant and dazafter living twenty-four years in and about { zling with light; in the first were these Arabia, at length enlightened us by his words, . There is no God but God ;' and faithful translation of the Koran, and his } in the second these, Mahomet is God's most instructive preface.

Apostle.' On beholding this, I remained Gagnier himself, notwithstanding his the most astonished and confused of men. Arabic professorship at Oxford, has been} I observed about him seventy thousand pleased to put forth a few falsehoods con- { little boxes or bags of musk and saffron. cerning Mahomet, as if we had need of He had five hundred pairs of wings; and lies to maintain the truth of our religion the distance from one wing to another was against a false prophet. He gives us at { five hundred years' journey. full length Mahomet's journey through the “Thus did Gabriel appear before me. seven heavens on the mare Alborac, and } He touched me, and said, ' Arise, thou even ventures to cite the fifty-third sura sleeper !' I was seized with fear and or chapter ; but neither in this fifty-third trembling, and, starting up, said to him, sura, or in any other, is there so much as "Who art thou ?' He answered, “God an allusion to this pretended journey have mercy upon thee! I am thy brothrough the heavens.

ther Gabriel.' 'O my dearly-beloved This strange story is related by Abul-Gabriel,' said I, 'I ask thy pardon; is it feda, seven hundred years after Mahomet. a revelation of something new, or is it It is taken, he says, from ancient manu- some afflicting threat that thou bringest scripts which were current in Mahomet's me ?' 'It is something new,' returned time. But it is evident that they were not he; 'rise, my dearly-beloved, and tie thy Mahomet's ; for, after his death, Abube-mantle over thy shoulders; thou wilt have ker gathered together all the leaves of the need of it, for thou must this night pay a ran, in the presence of all the chiefs of visit to thy lord.' So saying, Gabriel,

taking my hand, raised me from the preserved in Syria and Arabia until Maground, and having mounted me on the homet's time. mare Alborac, led her himself by the How many times has it been repeated, bridle,” &c.

that Mahomet had accustomed a pigeon In fine, it is averred by the Mussulmen, to eat grain out of his ear, and made his that this chapter, which has no authenti- followers believe that this pigeon brought city, was imagined by Abu-Horaïrah, who him messages from God? is said to have been cotemporary with the Is it not enough for us, that we are perprophet. What should we say of a Turk, suaded of the falseness of his sect, and who should come and insult our religion invincibly convinced by faith of the truth by telling us that we reckon among our { of our own, without losing our time in sacred books, the Letters of St. Paul to calumniating the Mahometans, who have Seneca, and Seneca's Letters to St. Paul; established themselves from Mount Cauthe Acts of Pilate ; the Life of Pilate's casus to Mount Atlas, and from the conWife; the Letters of the pretended Kings fines of Epirus to the extremities of India ? Abgarus to Jesus Christ, and Jesus} We are incessantly writing bad books Christ's Answer to the same; the Story against them, of which they know nothing. of St. Peter's Challenge to Simon the Ma- }We cry out that their religion has been gician; the Predictions of the Sibyls; the embraced by so many nations only beTestament of the Twelve Patriarchs ; and } cause it flatters the senses. But where is so many other books of the same the sensuality in ordering abstinence from kind ?

the wine and liquors in which we indulge We should answer the Turk by saying, to such excess ; in pronouncing to every that he was very ill informed, and that one an indispensable command to give to not one of these works was regarded as the poor each year two and a half per authentic. The Turk will make the same cent. of his income, to fast with the greatanswer to us, when to confound him we est rigour, to undergo a painful operation reproach him with Mahomet's journey to in the earliest stage of puberty, to make, the seven heavens. He will tell us that over arid sands, a pilgrimage of sometimes this is nothing more than a pious fraud of five hundred leagues, and to pray to God latter times, and that this journey is not five times a day, even when in the field ? in the Koran. Assuredly I am not here But, say you, they are allowed four comparing truth with error—Christianity wives in this world, and in the next they with Mahometanism—the Gospel with the will have celestial brides. Grotius exKoran ; but false tradition with false tra-pressly says—“It must have required a dition—abuse with abuse-absurdity with great share of stupidity to admit reveries absurdity.

so gross and disgusting.” This absurdity has been carried to such We agree with Grotius, that the Mahoa length, that Grotius charges Mahomet metans have been prodigal of reveries. with having said, that God's hands are } The man who was constantly receiving the cold, for he has felt them; that God is chapters of his Koran from the angel Ga carried about in a chair ; and that, in briel, was worse than a visionary; he was Noah's ark, the rat was produced from an impostor, who supported his seducthe elephant's dung, and the cu fium the tions by his courage : but certainly there lion's breath.

was nothing either stupid or sensual in Grotius reproaches Mahomet with hav- reducing to four the unlimited number of ing imagined that Jesus Christ was taken wives whom the princes, the satraps, the up into heaven instead of suffering exe- nabobs, and the omrahs of the East kept cution. He forgets that there were entire } in their seraglios. It is said that Solomon heretical communions of primitive Chris-had three hundred wives and seven huntians who spread this opinion, which was dred concubines. The Arabs, like the

Jews, were at liberty to marry two sisters ; says, that the sense of hearing will enjoy Mahomet was the first who forbade these { the pleasures of singing and of speech. marriages. Where, then, is the gross- One of our great Italian theologians, Dess?

named Piazza, in his Dissertation on ParaAnd with regard to the celestial brides, { dise, informs us that the elect will for ever where is the impurity ? Certes, there is sing and play the guitar : they will have, nothing impure in marriage, which is ac- says he, three nobilities—three advantknowledged to have been ordained on ages, viz.-desire without excitement, earth, and blessed by God himself. The caresses without wantonness, and volupincomprehensible mystery of generation is } tuousness without excess :-“ tres nobilithe seal of the Eternal Being. It is the tates ; illecebra sine titillatione, blanditia clearest mark of his power, that he has sine mollitudine, et voluptas sine exubecreated pleasure, and through that very rantià.” pleasure perpetuated all sensible be- St. Thomas assures us that the smell of ings.

the glorified bodies will be perfect, and If we consult our reason alone, it will will not be diminished by perspiration.tell us that it is very likely that the Eternal {“Corporibus gloriosi serit odor ultima Being, who does nothing in vain, will not perfectione, nullo modo per humidum recause us to rise again with our organs to pressus.” This question has been prono purpose. It will not be unworthy of foundly treated by a great many other the Divine Majesty to feed us with deli-doctors. cious fruits, if he cause us to rise again Suarez, in his Wisdom, thus expresses with stomachs to receive them. The Holy himself concerning taste :-“ It is not ditScriptures inform us that, in the begin-{ficult for God purposely to make some ning, God placed the first man and the sapid humour act on the organ of taste.” first woman in a paradise of delights.- “ Non est Deo difficile facere ut sapiThey were then in a state of innocence dus humor sit intra organum gustus, qui and glory, incapable of experiencing dis- sensum illum intentionaliter afficere." ease or death. This is nearly the state And, to conclude, St. Prosper, recapiin which the just will be when, after their tulating the whole, pronounces that the resurrection, they shall be for all eternity blessed shall find gratification without what our first parents were for a few days. satiety, and enjoy health without disease:" Those, then, must be pardoned, who have -“ Saturitas sine fastidio, et tota sanitas thought that, having a body, that body } sine morbo." will be constantly satisfied. Our Fathers It is not then so much to be wondered of the Church had no other idea of the at, that the Mahometans have admitted the heavenly Jerusalem. St. Irenæus says, use of the five senses in their paradise. “that there each vine shall bear ten thou- They say that the first beatitude will be sand branches, each branch ten thousand the union with God; but this does not clusters, and each cluster ten thousand exclude the rest. grapes,"

Mahomet's paradise is a fable; but once Several Fathers of the Church have, in- more be it observed, there is in it neither deed, thought that the blessed in heaven contradiction nor impurity. would enjoy all their senses. St. Thomas Philosophy requires clear and precise says, that the sense of seeing will be infi- ideas, which Grotius had not. He quotes nitely perfect; that the elements will be a great deal, and makes a show of reasonso too; that the surface of the earth will }ing, which will not bear a close examinabe transparent as glass, the water like {tion. crystal, the air like the heavens, and the The unjust imputations cast on the Mafire like the stars.

hometans would suffice to make a very St. Augustin, in his Christian Doctrine, { large book. They have subjugated one

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »